How to Make Kitchari: the Staple Meal for Cleansing & Nourishing
1/2 cup basmati rice
1 cup mung dal (yellow split)
3-4 cups water
2 tbs ghee (clarified butter)
1/2 tsp cumin seeds or powder
2 tsp turmeric power
1 tsp coriander powder
1 tsp fennel powder
1 pinch asafoetida (hing)
1-2 cups chopped vegetables
Check out the vegetables that suit your constitution (for constitution quiz visit the banyanbotanicals.com website to find out what constitution you are and what vegetables will aid your digestion process). The asafoetida takes out the gassy quality of pulses but only a pinch is necessary.
- Wash rice and split mung beans several times so the water becomes clear
- In a saucepan warm the ghee on medium heat. Add the spices and saute for 1-2 minutes. Add the rice and dal and saute for another couple of minutes. Then add the water and bring to the boil.
- Once the kitchari has come to a boil reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and cook until tender (approx. 30-40 minutes).
- If you are adding vegetables, add the longer cooking ones, such as carrots or beets, halfway through the cooking. Add the vegetables that cook faster, such as leafy greens or asparagus, near the end.
- Add more water if needed. Typically kitchari is the consistency of a vegetable stew as opposed to a broth. A thinner consistency is preferable if your digestion is weak.
- Garnish with fresh coriander and add salt to taste. You could also add some tamari and / or black pepper or some lime juice to flavour it further if you wish.
Variations – Kitchari can be nourishing or cleansing, warming or cooling, soupy or solid, all depending on the ingredients used and the method of preparation. Other spice combinations and garnishes can be varied depending on your constitution. Explore other recipes online if you wish. I cook my kitchari in a pressure cooker. I saute the spices in ghee and then add the vegetables. I then add the rice, dal and water and pressure cook for 7 minutes. I keep whatever is left over in the fridge in an air-tight container once cooled and reheat well (remember it is rice and rice must be reheated properly and only once). I eat the rest within 2 days.
Kitchari is unique because it is a neutral meal as it does not hinder the digestive process so can support and nourish the body. It is also medicinal and can be used at times of illness, during times of stress, periods of overwork or at change of seasons. It is not only nourishing for the body, but due to the spice combination, also benefits and aids digestion. It is the staple food for cleansing and detoxifying the body.
For more information about kitchari and why it is used for cleansing and detoxing please read What is Kitchari & Why It is Used for Cleansing.